Export markets leading sales revival for Bajaj Auto amid Covid-19
Bajaj Auto is witnessing a strong revival in various export markets, including Africa and Latin America, as they were not hit as hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns as the domestic market, a senior company official said.
The company, which exports to around 79 countries globally, reported its best ever dispatches to international markets last month.
"In terms of recovery, international business is doing better than domestic because most of the countries where we export have not been impacted that much by the pandemic and lockdowns as India," Bajaj Auto CFO Soumen Ray told PTI in an interview.
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The demand is very robust and various markets like Africa, Latin America Middle East and South Asia are doing very well, he added.
"We have only two areas of concern, one is ASEAN region where major markets like the Philippines and Cambodia are witnessing lockdowns and restrictions. Other is Sri Lanka, where the government has banned import of vehicles," Ray said.
Barring these two, the company is witnessing very strong revival, he added.
"It (revival in export markets) is borne out of two factors -- severity of pandemic has been less in these regions and thus, the economy is also less impacted," Ray said.
The company's export order book is very strong for the next few months, he said.
Bajaj Auto shipped 2.12 lakh units in September to various international markets.
In July-September period, however, two-wheeler dispatches fell 11 per cent to 4,14,271 units as compared with 4,62,890 units in the same period of previous fiscal.
Commenting on the outlook for domestic market, Ray said the company is witnessing increase in footfalls and inquiries at the dealerships.
"Jury is still out regarding the festive season this year. Looking at the response in the first few days of the festive season, our sense is that it is going to be similar or marginally better than last year," he noted.
On three-wheeler sales, Ray said the revival in the segment depends on pick up in economic activity involving small commercial vehicles.
"Certain economic activity is required for demand to come back. Economic activity here pertains to movement of people from one place to another, relatively short distances, in both urban and rural landscapes," he noted.
"Till that doesn't happen, like opening of schools, entertainment areas, why would anybody like to buy a commercial two-wheeler or a three-wheeler," he added.
He, however, said that situation is improving in the three-wheeler segment and September quarter was much better than first quarter of the current fiscal.